Buongiorno from Italy!

Sharon and I are enjoying some time together here in Italy for about five weeks!  I’m filling in preaching in a small church in Vicenza (between Venice and Verona) while our missionary pastor and his family are on furlough in the states.  I preached for the first time this past Sunday and it was a great time with the church folks.  We’re going through the book of James.  Wonderful people here at “Trinity” church Vicenza.  Had a lovely lunch with several members at our host, Jessica Clark’s home.  She has also taken Sharon and I all over town to shop, dinner at a friend’s Villa, horseback riding, etc.  God is so good!  Not to rub it in, but here are some photos of our trip so far this first week.  Please continue to pray for us as we serve Trinity church over the next month and pray for the members, most of whom are military and facing many issues in their lives.

Always room for another Cappucino!

Always room for another Cappucino!

Sharon and Jessica in Vicenza

Sharon and Jessica in Vicenza

Sharon in Vicenza

Sharon in Vicenza

Waiting for our pasta and Caprese Salad!

Waiting for our pasta and Caprese Salad!

A play in Verona.  "The Taming of the Shrew."

A play in Verona. “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Sharon ready to ride through the hills of Vicenza!

Sharon ready to ride through the hills of Vicenza!

Olives on the left and grapes on the right... Ahhh Italy!

Olives on the left and grapes on the right… Ahhh Italy!

At the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.  Yes, it was windy!  :)

At the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. Yes, it was windy! :)

A kid in the Candy Shoppe!

A kid in the Candy Shoppe!

The Duomo in Firenze!

The Duomo in Firenze!

Randy with Jamal and Sami Liddawi at the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Randy with friends at the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Namaste from India!

At the Taj

At the Taj

I’ve just returned from a 16 day trip circling India.  We began in  New Delhi to rest up a few days and to visit the beautiful Taj Mahal.  Hardly a rest with long train rides and all day activities in 100 degree heat!  A busy and bustling city.

DSC09068  INDIA_8988

Had a fun “rickshaw” ride through the streets of Old Delhi after visiting the famous Jama Masjid mosque.  The last time I visited this mosque, it was bombed.  A bit less exciting this time, but just wait, the excitement will come a bit later in our trip!

Justin at the beach in Chennai

From Delhi, we visited Bangalore located in central-south India and connected with our friend PB.  We did some concerts, preached and led a leadership conference.  Great folks and great fun.  From Delhi, we went to Chennai and also led a leadership conference and worked with several folks there.  Got to visit the beach also.

Working with Leaders in Chennai

Our last stop, after several plane rides, was in Manipur in the far East of India, the other side of Bangladesh.  A very different people there who speak Pitay.  Had a great time with our friends K & L and their families and visited an orphanage, several church plants that we had helped with and did a day long Worship seminar and a number of concerts and speaking engagements.

New Church Plant site in Manipur

New Church Plant site in Manipur

We also participated in the 7th graduation class of Covenant Children’s Home.  The place was packed and both local newspapers featured articles about it.  I gave the graduation address and sang and “capped” the graduates.  (I found out that this meant to move their hat tassel from one side to the other!)

The 2103 Graduation Class of Covenant Children's Home in Manipur, India

The 2103 Graduation Class of Covenant Children’s Home in Manipur, India

Randy congratulates the graduates.

Randy congratulates the graduates.

Another exciting aspect of being in Manipur, is that there is a constant threat of rebel tribes causing a bit of trouble, and they were active again as we were leaving Manipur.  After hearing of numerous car bombings and blockades, we decided to hire a security force of eight men loaded to the hilt with fire-power (big guns!!) to lead us out of town on our hour ride to the airport.  I’m pretty sure that without them, we would not have made it as they had to stop, get out of the trucks, move the road blocks made of trees, rocks, burning cars, etc. while rebels looked on with cans of gas, rocks, etc.  The automatic weapons seemed to keep them at bay until we passed each road block.  Exciting, but God was good and we arrived safely at the airport in Imphal.

Our help has arrived.

Our help has arrived.Our Security force leads the way out of town!Our Security force leads the way out of town!

Here are a few more photos of our trip!  Enjoy                                                                        Blessings,  RM

Covenant Children's Home

Covenant Children’s HomeRandy with kidsRandy with kidsThe Boys!The Boys!Beautiful Indian Tiger(Photo by Justin Mayfield)Beautiful Indian Tiger – (Photo by Justin Mayfield)